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One of the world’s best Music Early Learning Programs

Vicky Abad
July 13, 2017

In July 2017 Miss Vicky presented at the 15th World Congress of Music Therapy in Japan. 

She present her PhD research and launched her book – The Economics of Therapy – to an audience of 2,500 music therapists from all around the world. 

She attended keynote presentations from the world’s leading music therapists and researchers, and got to benchmark the Boppin’ Babies program with music programs from around the world.

Vicky also had time to visit a few Japanese cities to take in the culture.

I went to Japan for three main reasons – to listen and learn, to present my research (when I am not Boppin, I am researching for the University of Queensland) and to launch my book!

But first, I visited a few Japanese cities, including Kyoto, where I did a Taiko drumming workshop with Sensa Makato Nakatani. This was unreal!

I also ran into one of the world’s best classical guitarists busking, and we had a great time swapping stories about our guitars. In Australia few people share my passion for my Japanese hand-crafted K-Yari but the Japanese certainly do!

One of the world’s best Music Early Learning Programs

Opening ceremony 15th World Congress of Music Therapy

Opening ceremony 15th World Congress of Music Therapy

I then arrived at Congress ready to listen and learn. And what I learned was this – Boppin’ Babies is indeed one of the best Music Early Learning Programs in the world.

Our families get the very best balance of music therapy informed practice, a music education overview and opportunities to integrate sensory experiences that are age and developmentally appropriate for the children.

I was interested to hear that I am not the only clinician and researcher who is concerned about the current trend to overstimulate infants and toddlers in the name of development.

The use of a multi-modal approach, which is what we do – singing (live music), looking (eye contact), and touching (moving/holding/rocking) our babies to music are the best approach.

Layering sensory experiences is not.

Live music is best you and bub

Music that is played live is the best for promoting relationships, nurturing bonds and supporting early childhood development.

It also supports parent musical identity (so the way you feel about using music and how you identify as a musical parent, and how comfortable you are to share music in the home). A positive parent musical identity makes you feel good about you, and makes bub feel good about you and them.

My research has been saying this for some time – voice led live music is the best way to support parents and build their confidence to use music at home.

And live music shared at home and in the community is the best for little brains to grow and develop both emotionally and cognitively.

This also leads to long term significant improvements in child development. For more information on this part of our research project CLICK HERE>>

Building connections and communities with music

I am so passionate about this because you are your child’s first and most important teacher, and my job as a professional musician, music therapist and music teacher is to support you.

Our groups are gentle and nurturing, they are small and personal and we actively build connections and communities through linking you with other families at music.

We also link you to your musical self. We are not there to ‘perform’ or ‘entertain’ or even  ‘teach’ you, we are there to support and facilitate beautiful musical moments between you and your little one that lead to happy healthy families.

Supporting the musical parent

Associate Professor Helen Shoemark

Miss Vicky with Associate Professor Helen Shoemark

I presented research findings with my colleagues Associate Professor Helen Shoemark and Professor Margaret Barrett, looking at the evolution of musical parenting and how this has changed over time.

We showed how technology and information have changed the ways parents make music with their children.

We also discussed ways to help parents stay in touch, or reconnect with their musical selves, so they could keep making live music in the home.

I was proud to present some of our Boppin’ Babies families as a part of this research.

Good therapy is good business

Then it was time for my book launch and round table. Last year I co-edited and published a book with my friend and colleague Dan Thomas from the UK on the economics of therapy.

What we had come to observe over the years was that creative arts therapists are highly trained at certain skills that actually cross over into the business world very well, but most therapists don’t realise it.

So we came up with a model (RAILE) and have started training therapists around the world.

For more information on this you can read my blog at Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Miss Vicky with Dan Thomas

Miss Vicky with Dan Thomas

Bringing live music to families

All in all, it was a fabulous experience, and such an honour to stand side by side with the world’s leading music therapists and researchers and present our program and have it recognised as one of the world’s best.

Thanks to all of you who have shared my dream of bringing real live music to families by attending our groups.

It remains my passion to share this authentic and heart felt business with you.

2,500 music therapists from all around the world

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